At 7 a.m. Monday morning, Harvey John Beth woke up and immediately checked the weather forecast. After a weekend of constant rain, the All Island Art Show committee co-chair was hoping for a break in the clouds.
“Mother Nature cooperated,” he said. “The show went on.”
Indeed it did. Some 87 local artists showcased their work along the walls surrounding the Tabernacle. The annual show features work in a variety of mediums created by artists ages 16 to 99.
The show, which began in 1968, is all inclusive — open to Island artists in all stages of their careers. A panel of judges reviews the work and then chooses an overall Best in Show. The honor this year went to Marietta Cleasby.
“It’s given an opportunity to people who wouldn’t normally even think about showing their work,” said Ms. Cleasby.
Many artists also set up booths to display additional pieces and to interact with passersby.
Artist Brian Kirkpatrick, who has participated in the show since 2003, sat next to his paintings, saying hello to old friends and discussing his new work.
“It’s a tradition,” he said. “There’s a sense of community. I see people I haven’t seen all summer.”
On Tuesday morning, after adult ribbons were awarded and art packed away for the next show, the Tabernacle was lined with pieces created by younger artists as part of the Junior Art Show.
A 20-year tradition, the junior show features work created by children under age 15. The entry fee is one dollar per piece, limited to two. Though ribbons are granted for first, second, third and honorable mention in each category, every artist gets a blue participant ribbon and a lollipop.
“It’s a great experience,” said artist and volunteer Natalie Harris, 12. “It helps young artists to get inspired.”
Many young artists, like Natalie, participate year after year — and often graduate to showing in the adult category.
“It’s interesting that after being given that venue they will go on and do other shows,” said Ms. Cleasby.
“It’s really fun to watch them evolve over the years,” said show organizer Jessie Leaman.
As Sophia Dillon, 8, checked out her third place ribbon in the mixed media category she reflected on the show.
“I don’t think it’s about winning,” she said. “It’s about being together and having fun.”